Church History

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In March of 1954, the East Side Christian Church was organized under the able leadership of the late Reverend R. L. Sercy.  The worship site chosen by a group of thirty members was a former washateria at the corner of Foreman and Penelope Streets, in what was known as the East Dallas section of town.  Rev. Sercy led in the establishment of the congregation by procuring the site and paying the first two weeks’ rent for the building.  The ordained Elders for this congregation were Elder Gene Jones, Elder L. J. Spencer, and Elder Rufus Allen.  Sister Maureen Spencer served as Musician, and Elder Jones was President of the choir.

After a few months, the late Elder and Mrs. Willard Brown were instrumental in the next move of the congregation, which was the purchase of a house at 4228 Penelope Street.  The remodeling of this building included sacrificial gifts of time, labor, furnishings, and lots of love.  A piano was given by Elder and Mrs. L. J. Spencer, furniture was made by Elder Willard Brown, seats were negotiated by Sister Freida Tillman, and a white congregation sent a gift of money.  During this time, the membership grew under the leadership of Rev. Sercy, a great Minister of the Gospel.  Under the pastorate of Rev. Sercy, Don Eubanks, Tommy Terrell, and Freddie Henry answered the call to ministry.  Death also took its toll with the passing of Elder Willard Brown in 1958.

Rev. Tommy Terrell succeeded Rev. Sercy as Pastor of the congregation, and the Church progressed in membership, spirit, and finance.  In 1959, Rev. John Smith was called.  In 1963, he led the congregation in a decision to make a location change.  The site selection, at Bonnie View Road and East Ledbetter Drive, was made by Rev. Smith, Elder Allen, and Elder Spencer.  It was subsequently approved by the congregation.  With influence and effort by Mrs. E. G. Titus, a loan was secured through the Dallas Area Association of Christian Churches for purchase of the site.  In April of 1963, the congregation moved to the present site and became the Bonnie View Christian Church.

During the pastorate of Rev. Smith, the work became a labor of love and was fruitful.  He served until his death in April of 1965.  Revs. Paul and Wesley Sims served as Interim Ministers after the death of Rev. Smith.  Rev. King David Cole succeeded Rev. Smith as Pastor and served until his resignation in 1968.  During this year, Bonnie View lost one of its initial members -- Mrs. Maggie Brown.  Leadership over the years was given by men and women who were inspired to do the work of the Lord.  Among them were Elder L. J. Spencer, Elder Rufus Allen, Elder Gene Jones, Elder Willard Brown, Elder Charlie Carlisle, Elder Henry Williams, and Elder Wendell Henry;  Deacons Roy Daniels, Perry Eubanks, Don Gholston;  Sisters Ella Mae Grant, Miley Henry, Freida Tillman, Maggie Brown, Octavia Hampton, Celestine Oxford, Evelyn Thomas, and Marie Brown.

In May of 1968, Rev. M. L. Fountain was called as Pastor.  Under his leadership, five ministers were licensed and ordained:  Travis Lee, Vernon Jackson, Marvin Wright, Carlos Bates, and Luie B. Crowder.  Because of membership growth, additional seating was added, new musical instruments purchased, as well as new pulpit and choir furniture.  Three additional music groups were formed, and preliminary plans were begun for a new sanctuary.  Under his pastorate, Sis. Miley Henry became the first woman to be ordained as a deacon.  Rev. Fountain served the Church diligently for eighteen years, resigning in February of 1986 to assume a pastorate in Los Angeles, California.  During the months of February through April, Dr. Paul Sims again served the Church in the role of Interim Minister.

In May of 1986, Dr. Claude Walker accepted the call as Pastor of Bonnie View.  Dr. Walker served faithfully until September of 1989, when he resigned to accept a position at Jarvis Christian College.  During his pastorate, remodeling of the sanctuary began.  Central heating and air conditioning were installed, along with new windows and light fixtures.  These years also took a sad turn with the loss of our Church mother, Mrs. Annie Shelton, and two pioneer members -- Elder Gene Jones and Sis. Freida Tillman.  We commend Dr. Walker for the vision he shared for Bonnie View.

1990 signaled the beginning of a new decade, which brought about many changes to Bonnie View.  Remodeling of the sanctuary was completed.  We regretfully lost two of our pioneer members -- Sis. Ella Mae Lee and Sis. Cora Brigham.  We also called a new Pastor.  Rev. Gilbert Guidry served the Church as Associate Minister after the resignation of Dr. Walker.  In January of 1990, he accepted the call to become Pastor and served until May of 2003.  During the decade between 1990 and 2000, the Church lost many soldiers in God’s army; however, we know that man’s loss is heaven’s gain.  In 1997, the Church family mourned the loss of our elder statesman, founding member, and patriarch, Elder Will Rufus Allen.

In 2001, after much prayer, hard work, and deliberation, the congregation decided to step out on faith and proceed with an expansion program.  A contractor was selected, and a loan secured through Church Extension.  Bro. Calvin Traylor was serving as Church Chairman at the time, and was instrumental in coordinating the project.  He did not live to see the completion of the project, and again, the congregation mourned our loss.  Many others who shared this vision did not live to see its fruition; however, those who remain are determined to see the dream through and to forge ahead confident that the Lord will see us through.  God is faithful -- and because of His faithful provisions, and through the faithful, obedient, and sacrificial giving of tithes and offerings from the congregation, we were able to pay off the note for the expansion project approximately five years ahead of schedule.

In January 2004, a special congregational meeting was held for the purpose of extending the call to serve as undershepherd to Rev. Dwayne E. Rodgers.  Rev. Rodgers accepted the call and became Senior Pastor on January 4, 2004.  Rev. Rodgers served until his resignation in November 2015.  We thank God for the mighty man of God who has been called to preach the Gospel. During Pastor Rodgers' tenure, the church continued to gtow and flourish.  Rev. Kentry Ellison served the congregation as Interim Pastor from November 2015 until September 2016.  We are extremely grateful for his diligence and faithfulness during a time of transition in helping us to remain focused and on course. 

After much prayer, fasting, and diligent work by the Search and Call Committee, the congregation accepted the recommendation of the General Board and affirmed the candidacy of Rev. Alfred M. Walker to serve as Senior Pastor.  On September 18, 2016, Rev. Walker accepted the call to serve and began his tenure on October 2, 2016.  Bonnie View continues to forge ahead, excited and full of anticipation, all the while confident that God has great things in store for us.

One of the pluses for Bonnie View is having a wealth of younger adults who were born into this congregation, have weathered the storms, and continue to be viable members.  We are truly grateful for those pioneers who stepped out on faith and were determined to bring their vision to life.  The Church continues to grow in membership, spirit, and finance, and we look forward to many years of blessings as we continue to spread the "Good News" of the Gospel.  As we step out on faith, we are confident in the power of God and the presence of His Holy Spirit.  To God be all the Glory! 

 

 

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